In October 2013, I finally started a walking routine after being sedentary for almost seven years. I still remember that first walk: I could barely go 16 minutes, my face was red, my heart pounding, my legs wobbly and it felt like I would burst a vein through sheer exertion. The next day, I did 18 minutes. By August last year I was walking five km an hour, four times a week, and had done several 7 km walks without a problem. Then I went for a two-month vacation to my sister’s home in England and stopped walking altogether.
I stopped walking because my sibling bought a car. Earlier we would walk the two miles to Waitrose for groceries but now, suddenly, it was too far away and the bags so heavy; plus my niece and nephew wanted to go for drives. After a few days of this, I realised how utterly great just sitting and reading and eating was. Why the hell was am I sweating it out? I returned in October, totally satisfied with my lazy holiday, having gained seven kilos and lost the exercise habit.
It took me seven months to start again. In this time, because I am a generous eater of things, I put on another four kilos and had a painful affair with my prolapsed disc. My physiotherapist aunt pursed her lips in her scary way and spelled out what I already knew: if I didn’t reduce the weight my back has to carry (namely, my stomach), I was staring down a life of being laid up — in my thirties.
This was truly worrying, especially because I am single. I want to earn for at least another 20 years so that I can support myself well for the rest of my life. I can’t afford to be disabled of body or mind. And if I do remain single, I want to able to climb a chair and fix a bulb in my sixties. For this, if I have to invest a few hours a week in my future from now on, well, it’s not ideal, but I’ll do it.
WHEN TO START?
So I decided I had to start exercising again. But we were in May, dude. May is no time to exercise in Delhi, might as well shove myself in a microwave and press start. But each time I try to use bad weather as an excuse, I remember a friend’s reply from October, when I complained it was too hot to start: “Wait a minute,” he said, “you’re waiting to exercise in better weather to avoid sweating?”
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